Your budget will decipher what you can achieve in your garden; here’s an overview on what you can create with the finances you have available.
No money options: Have a good clean and tidy up of your garden. Prune overgrown shrubs and remove self-seeded trees. Edge lawns, clear weeds in beds and on paths. Swap plants with friends.
Up to £100 Do all of the above and then brighten the garden up with some new plants or accessories. Or, you could re-gravel and mulch planting beds with bark to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. Invest in some attractive containers or visit a salvage yard and build a raised bed with reclaimed timber.
Up to £500 This budget allows you to consider building materials as well as plants. Simple concrete slabs, perhaps a new lapped paneled fence, re-turf your lawn or buy new garden furniture.
Up to £1000 You can just about consider bringing in outside help. Two days’ work by a skilled trades-person and materials for perhaps a new patio. Or, if you are doing your own work you can invest in a digger driver to prepare ground.
£5000-£10,000 The lower sum will get you about a week’s work by a skilled trades-person or team including materials. If your budget is at the higher mark a professional designer will help your money go far in terms of impact. Expect to pay a designer around 15 per cent of your budget.
£10,000 – £30,000 With this as your budget you can hire a professional landscape designer and contractor to ensure your work is done to a specified standard. Creating a 10sqm garden with significant hard-surfacing, high-quality planting, barriers and special features, will cost from around £25,000 and with design fees on top you can quickly reach the £30,000 mark.
Obviously you can go even higher with your finances, and a budget of this scale will enable you to create an incredible garden that can last for generations.
Do I need planning permissions?
Planning restricts differ widely from one area to another. The answer is usually yes if you intend to build walls over 1m by a road and 2m elsewhere, or lay impermeable paving in a front garden. For listed buildings and in conservation areas, you may need permission to remove and install hard landscaping. For everyone else, outbuildings of up to 2.5m high are permitted beside the house, and those of 4m and taller need to be 2m away from the house. Decking and outbuildings must not take up more than 50 per cent of the garden.
Consult the planning department of your local council before going ahead, especially if you live near a Conservation Area. If planning permission is necessary your Planning Department will require an application together with fairly detailed plans and a fee. Find out more at www.gov.uk.
How long will my garden landscaping take?
This depends on the type of project. If you have the budget and are employing the professionals, they will give you a detailed time-frame and work-plan in their quote. Working in stages can help with the cash-flow. Hard-landscaping should be completed first, if possible during winter months so the garden is ready for planting in the spring. Do not build walls or patio’s below 3 degrees as frost can weaken new concrete and mortar.